6 Unwise Reasons to Delay Your Divorce
The decision to end a marriage isn’t an easy one. Chances are you’ve had many good times – built a family, owned a home, created a life. Good or bad, it’s all you’ve known for a while.
But things haven’t turned out like you envisioned. You keep hoping they will change, and here you are, months or even years later, stuck in limbo, still unsure of what to do.
Should you stay or should you go? While indecision is totally understandable, it may be causing more harm than good. The longer you stay, the more you ruminate over the pros and cons, the harder it becomes, and the longer you remain stuck.
Here are some of the top reasons married couples delay getting divorced.
1. Fear of confrontation
In the past, suggesting changes in your marriage may have erupted into conflict. That can take a toll on your well-being and mental health. If previous attempts to fix your unhappy marriage never changed anything, you may feel reluctant to confront your spouse yet again.
Without honest communication, though, you stay stuck in avoidance. Each day, week, and year, starts to feel the same, like you’re a prisoner in the movie Groundhog Day. This can make you start to resent others who have gone on to grow and make more of their lives.
In the meantime, the distance between you and your spouse has only gotten worse. Your unhappiness has intensified.
2. Unwillingness to accept reality
Perhaps your marriage has been unhappy for years, yet you find it more comfortable to live in denial. You put on a happy face, and your friends and kids think all is well.
But this charade not only fools others. It can also fool you, if you let it. You deserve happiness – real happiness – not just a facade. Would you prefer a happy reality or a ruse? It’s your decision.
3. Feelings of guilt or shame
You may be thinking that your spouse isn’t a bad person and wondering if you’re the problem. Chances are, there’s a real reason you’re unhappy. Your marriage doesn’t have to be outright “bad” for you to long for something better. Wanting to be content and feel loved isn’t shameful, and prioritizing your own well-being isn’t a betrayal.
4. Your desire to protect the kids
Considering the kids in a divorce decision is always one of the toughest parts. You want to shield them from pain.
But kids are resilient, and they adapt. If you and your spouse can work together as co-parents to promote their happiness and welfare, it can make all the difference. And wouldn’t they benefit from two happier homes than one home filled with constant tension?
There’s always an excuse you can use to put off divorce. The holidays are coming up. You’ve planned that long-awaited beach vacation. Your daughter is graduating. Your son is getting married.
The reality is, there’s no good time for a divorce. Don’t let unfortunate timing get in the way of your future happiness. Everyone else will get over it.
6. You’re stuck in fear
It’s true that divorce is scary. Where will you live? How will you take care of yourself? Dating? That’s downright terrifying!
Facing the things that scare you the most makes you realize that your fears are far scarier than reality. Fear keeps you frozen. You deserve better.
A lack of finances can keep a break-up at bay. Consider meeting with a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) to explore possible avenues for divorce that could keep you financially afloat.
What to do if you’re stuck
Divorce may be a Pandora’s box you don’t want to open. But in the meantime, you’re stuck. Fortunately, you don’t have to make these decisions alone. There are plenty of supportive resources out there to help you make informed decisions so you can move past your overwhelm and limbo.
Discernment counseling is short-term counseling designed for people on the fence about divorce. With the help of a trained counselor, you and your spouse can consider your options and how you want to go forward. You can stay married, make a short-term commitment to counseling to see if things get better, or agree to go the path of separation or divorce. This way, everything is on the table, and both you and your spouse will agree to the ground rules.
Getting to the heart of the problems in your marriage can be enlightening – and freeing. If you think there may be hope of rekindling what you had, consider giving couples counseling a chance. It puts your spouse on notice, enlists professional guidance, and holds both of you accountable for your future.
A divorce coach isn’t just for people with active divorce cases. This professional can help you deal with the emotional aspects of divorce as well as the practical nuts and bolts. Looking at the best-case and worst-case scenarios can free you from the unknowns that are keeping you stuck.
Don’t try to navigate this time by yourself. A support group, attended either in person or virtually, can help you get some outside perspective from people who are dealing with similar circumstances.
There’s nothing more enlightening than getting the legal and technical aspects of divorce out on the table. Speaking to a divorce attorney can give you a clearer picture of exactly what the divorce process entails and what to expect.
While divorce isn’t a decision you make lightly, you deserve clarity. Delaying your decision wastes time you could use to either make your marriage better or move on to make a new life of your own.
At Hello Divorce, we know that divorce is more than a legal transaction. We’re here to support you no matter what you decide. Our online divorce plans enable you to move through divorce proceedings more affordably and with greater ease, and our professional services can help support you in other essential ways.
Schedule a free call to learn more.